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Bids for management of Garrett’s Desert Inn to be evaluated

SANTA FE, N.M. — Three new bids from hotel management firms seeking to take over management of Garrett’s Desert Inn in downtown Santa Fe were recently unsealed and will now be evaluated by the New Mexico State Land Office, which owns the property located directly across Old Santa Fe Trail from the Land Office.

Companies bidding to manage the property are 311 Old Santa Fe, LLC; Santa Fe Desert Inn; and Los Poblanos Hospitality Santa Fe, LLC. The Land Office invited a new round of bids after a first-round offer from Greentree Hospitality, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Peak Hospitality, of Albuquerque, was disqualified after failing to come up with the required $250,000 bond by the end of last year.

“This property is a tremendous asset for the community and we want to make sure it is managed by an experienced operator in a responsible manner for the beneficiary,” Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn said in a news release.

The Land Office acquired the 2.7 acre property in 2016, swapping it for 9,400 acres of state trusts land with Cochiti Pueblo, which had previously purchased the property from the Catron Family Trust.

The property, which includes a 62-year-old hotel, is expected to generate at least $4.5 million over 20 years, its revenues going to the University of New Mexico, a state land trust beneficiary.

According to the news release, the three bids will be evaluated by a panel that includes four Land Office employees, and an architect, a historic preservation committee representative, and a member of the city of Santa Fe’s development review team. Proposal will be evaluated based on the companies’ hotel management experience, financial resources, financial offer and financing plan.

After the proposals are scored, Dunn will award the bid, a decision expected to be made by Sept. 1.

“I want to see how their proposals align with the community’s redevelopment needs,” Dunn said.